A wealth of things to keep you busy
Please click for 100 Things to do in the Cairngorms
Cawdor Castle, Gardens and Grounds (Signposted off A939 between Nairn and Inverness). Cawdor linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth, is a superb fairy-tale Castle and just what every visitor is looking for. A splendid house and the home of the Cawdor Family to this day. Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th Century and was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. Cawdor Castle has three gardens, the walled garden the oldest dating from 1600.
Ballindalloch Castle is one of the most beautiful and renowned castles in Scotland. Known as the Pearl of the North, it is located in the heart of Speyside. Surrounded by majestic hills, and with the tumbling waters of the River Spey and Avon flowing through the grounds, the setting is truly magnificent. The Macpherson-Grants have resided here since 1564.
Fort George is a fine example of 18th century military engineering in the British Isles. The garrison fortress was begun in the aftermatch of the Battle of Culloden (1746) and took 20 years to complete. In the event it was never attacked and remains virtually unaltered today serving as an important military base.
There are more than sixty distilleries on the Spey to choose from. These below are on (or very close to) the A95, between Grantown on Spey and Rothes.
Glenlivet Distillery Glenlivet, Ballindalloch
Glenfarclas Distillery Ballindalloch
Cardhu Distillery Knockando, Aberlour
There are at least six Golf Courses within 20 minutes drive from Grantown on Spey
Grantown on Spey Golf Club (18 holes) was formed in 1890 and designed by Willie Park with assistance from James Braid. Grantown on Spey Golf Course is situated in the Cairngorms National Park with a spectacular backdrop of pine trees and the Cromdale Hills at “Murdie’s View”, the 9th hole. Magnificent views of the Cairngorm range can be seen over the rest of the course.
Boat of Garten Golf Club (18 holes) was designed by one of the grand-masters of golf course architecture James Braid (1870 – 1950). “The Boat” is set alongside the River Spey in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The attractive surroundings of the
Cairngorm mountains and distinctive features as the Lairig Ghru and Northern Corries of Braeriach, provide a wonderful backdrop to this unique course.
Abernethy Golf Club (9 holes) Abernethy is a traditional Highland Golf Course, built on natural moorland and surrounded by majestic pine trees. The course is suitable for golfers of all standards. The golf course is home to many wildlife species.
Red squirrels abound in the forest bordering the fairways and curlews nest between the seventh and eight holes. Golfers may even glimpse an Osprey flying of the course carrying a fish to feed its young at the famous Loch Garten nest.
The River Spey is a jewel amongst some of Scotland’s finest Salmon Rivers. Anglers come from all over the world to fish here, many wanting to visit the home of the famous ‘Spey Cast’.
The Jacobite Inheritance
Grantown on Spey itself was founded in 1766 as a planned settlement by Sir James Grant on the junction between the Military Road and the Aviemore Road (built by Sir James’ father) with the assistance of the Boards which had been set up following the 1715 and ’45 to encourage the improvement of the Highlands. Visit Grantown Museum for more information
Bonnie Prince Charlie landed at Glenfinnan on the West Coast and raised the Clans. They beat the Government forces at Prestonpans and finally got to Derby before falling back to Scotland. The decisive defeat at Culloden Battlefield (the Last Battle on British soil) brought the Jacobite hopes to an end. Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped back to France via Skye, with the assistance of Flora McDonald (honoured by a bronze statue at Inverness Castle) and Bonnie Prince Charlie died in Rome in 1788.
The Military Roads Following the 1715 Rebellion over 1000 miles of military roads were built in the Highlands. Ironically in the ’45 these assisted the Jacobites to march onto the Scottish Lowlands and to England. General Wade was responsible for 250 miles of these roads including the road from Dunkeld to Inverness (via Ruthven Barracks and Carrbridge) which is roughly speaking the present A9. Wades successor, Major Caulfield was responsible for 800 miles including the Coupar Angus – Fort George Road which ran via Braemar, Corgarff, Tomintoul and Grantown on Spey and which the modern A939 follows. Part of it can still be seen in Grantown on Spey along the side of Anagach Woods.
For The Family
Craggan Outdoors The Active Heart of the Cairngorms is based on beautiful Speyside in the Cairngorms National Park, the UK’s largest National Park. In 2016 Craggan Outdoors was recognised as a finalist in both the BEST OUTDOOR / ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE category of the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, & the BEST OUTDOOR VENUE category of the Scottish Hospitality Awards. They specialise in delivering the very best in outdoor activity-focused experiences for groups of all types, and within those groups to individuals of all ages and abilities. Their approach is that no two clients are the same, so Craggan Outdoors work with each individual group to understand the specific requirements and objectives, as well as importantly the available budget, and in doing so can propose a programme that is tailored to the needs of your group. There’s nothing ‘off the shelf’ at Craggan Outdoors.
Landmark Forest Adventure Park is a great day out for all the family. There are adventure rides, such as Wild Water coaster and Runaway Timber Train Roller coaster.
Bamboozeleum is magical fun science and illusions exhibition. Mini cars, diggers, remote controlled trucks, shops, Restaurant, Pinewood Grill food bar and lots more promise a great day of fun.
Strathspey Railway When you remember the days of steam from yesterday, or you simply want a relaxing day in the Highlands come and enjoy a train journey with a difference in spectacular Strathspey.
Leault Working Sheepdogs During a 45 minute demonstration you will see up to eight dogs working as a team manoeuvring sheep through various obstacles. This is an experience not to be missed, giving people of all ages the chance to enjoy and participate in the traditional working day of a Highland Shepherd and his dogs.
Highland Wildlife Park Discover Scottish Wildlife and endangered animals of the world’s mountains and tundra in spectacular setting. Drive around the Main
Reserve in your own car and then investigate the walk-round area on foot. The Wildlife Park has a wide and diverse range of animals. From native species such as the Capercaillie and Scottish Wildcat to those from further afield such as the Amur Tiger and Polar Bear.